Date of Award


Document Type

Distinction Paper


Health & Sport Sciences


Shelley Payne, DHS, PT, AT

First Committee Member

Joan Rocks, Ph.D., ATC, AT

Second Committee Member

Patricia Wilson, M.S.

Third Committee Member

Steffanie Burk, Ph.D.


Proprioception, Neurodevelopmental, Balance, Agility, Fall Risk, Young Adult

Subject Categories

Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Occupational Therapy | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy


he objective of this study was to determine if young adults, ages 18-22, with neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Communication Disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder, and Motor Disorders, would benefit by adding a propioceptive intervention program to an already existing strength training program. Benefits hypothesized from this intervention were int he areas of agility and balance, two of the three components of propioceptive abilities. Increased agility and balance has been proved to increase functionality and safety as it can decrease fall risks. Subjects were all apart of a transitional program from high school into the adult world and actively seeking the skills needed to live a more fulfilling and functional life as productive members of society. Subjects were assessed on their agility and balance before and after and 8 week intervention period using Timed Get Up and Go Test and the Balance Sway App, from Sway Medical, res[respectively. Each subject was their own control in this study ot eliminate multiple varying factors for each subject. Each subject complete 1 hour per week of weight lifting based strength training and 1 hour per week of propriocceptive interventions that addressed agility, balance, and coordination. Each proprioceptive intervention was logged by the lead researcher and strength training was kept consistent through out the 8 weeks. The researcher hypothesized that subjects would improve on both measurements for agility and balance in their post test after participating in both the proprioceptive-strength multi modal program. The results of the study showed an overall significant improvement in all subjects in ability and balance after the 8 weeks of proprioception-strength intervention. The implications of this study for the transitional program that the subjects all partake in was to adjust their routine workout program to include more functional activity that is both focused in proprioception and strength training combined. The application of this study to other transitional programs for this population is to implement workout programs that promote functional independence through a multi modal program that addresses their weaknesses in strength and in balance and agility.